Arthur Schopenhauer

Essay by hughtorpeyUniversity, Bachelor's November 2004

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General Information

Born in 1788 and died in 1860.

Fiercely anti-Helgian and pro-Kant.

Held an extreme contempt for women.

Main contribution is his doctrine of the will, which hugely influenced Freud's work on the unconscious.

Wrote 'A Dialogue on Religion' which closely parallels Freud's 'A Future of an Illusion'. Described Freud as 'A greater Christian, there never was'.

Also came up with the 'Negative Therapeutic Reaction' which is when the patient tries to stop the cure.

Doctrine of the Will

Also known as 'The World as Will and Representation'.

The world we 'see' through our eyes is just a representation of the true reality, and these representations are the only things that can be explained by science.

These things and events are however only a representation, and behind the appearance of this is the ultimate and true reality, a driving force named the will.

The real world of the will is objectified, or pictured, or represented, by the phenomena which we wrongly take to be real ourselves.

The nature of this metaphysical will, or in other words the 'ultimate reality', is fundamentally cruel and evil.

All we see is the world objectified by our five senses, a filtered version of the true reality. So as we cannot see the whole world only through these five senses and our perceptions of space, time and causality which are all 'in our head'.

Schopenhauer believed we could bridge this gap between the material and real world through philosophy.

;Because we can only perceive objects through our five senses Schopenhauer reasons that the perceiving subject and the perceived object cannot be separated, 'They exist only for each other, and therefore existing only relatively'.

Our bodies themselves are only a representation of the will, and our actions are only a picture of the...